Talking Heads this weekend. I realize I’ve been spending a goodly amount of the past several weeks traipsing all over the world, running sessions and concerts from every other country except this one. So to remedy that, I dug up this gig from our very own Talking Heads. The date and venue of this show is a little foggy – according to several sources, the show is either from Jay’s Longshore in Minneapolis, The Jabberwocky in Boston or Northern Studios in Maynard Massachusetts. And the dates range from October 13th – 27th or November 18th. Flip a coin. All I know is, the sound is excellent and it gives a great representation of what Talking Heads were like live early on. Hard to imagine, in any case, that this gig is 41 years old – and that, in all likelihood, most people reading this never saw Talking Heads in concert or in a club. To many, that’s the deep-dark past or like-it-was-yesterday fond memories.
During the era of musical upheaval we tend to forget just how widespread the influence of Punk, post-Punk and New Wave had on the world from the late 1970s through the 80s. If any of the dates are correct, this show comes during the time of the release of their debut album – the album that gave us Psycho Killer. I vividly remember when Talking Heads -77 came out and the first time I heard Psycho Killer via KROQ here in Los Angeles. It was mesmerizing – a song you just could not get out of your head. Maybe it was David Byrne‘s coolly detached, nearly monotone delivery, or it was eerie and somewhat disturbing context of the lyrics. All I know is, when I got the album shortly after, it was on heavy rotation in my house and Talking Heads were the new kids on the block.
It’s difficult to convey hearing something for the first time when the person you are attempting to explain it to has already musically traveled a few light years away in the ensuing years. And what you thought was profound is now deemed quaint by their standards. Happens with every generation, happens every decade or so. Nobody’s fault – it’s just part of being human.
But Talking Heads had a profound effect on popular culture at the time – they were part of a wave that brought a different point of view to things – and as is the case with practically all of popular culture; it forms an imprint on those who experienced it first at a specific point in time for different, yet relevant reasons. You may hear it a different way – just like we sometimes blanch over EDM.
Imprints are grand.
Crank it up and enjoy.